Learning from Randori

March 16, 2019 performance at the Orange County Museum of Art

This judo-based art performance took place within the exhibition Everyday Grappling Operations. Several judokas from Soto-Díaz’ dojo demonstrated the practice of randori within the space of the installation, in an interplay with other performers she directed. The performance centered on repeated falling and resilience, as a way to understand the role of affect in power relations.

The performance takes its title from Venturi/Brown/Izenour’s book Learning from Las Vegas, which re-conceived how we understand the architecture of the everyday, here interpreted as affective architecture. Judo founder Jigoro Kano described randori as a free-form, random exercise of combat practiced with agreed-upon rules. Combatants may use any judo technique, including throwing, choking and holding an opponent down, provided they do not hurt each other and operate within the framework of judo practice.